Why I’m Not Going To Amsterdam

Amsterdam Image from Leo Sëta, Flickr
I really want to go to this. With the exception of Hello Etsy, generally there aren’t nearly as many small-biz/indiepreneur/blogger confabs here in Europe as there are in the states.

I have a side project, Wahlmünchnerin, a blog about life and design in Munich that (for now) is not a business, but rather a labor of love. The objective for this year is to get it launched and start seeding it with content. The scope of this effort: one blog post a week.

But oh! To go to Amsterdam and meet like-minded people! I know I would come back from the weekend on fire! I would network with cool and interesting people! One has to be flexible and open to new opportunities as they arise, doesn’t one?

Well, maybe. I have two selves when it comes to things like this. One self is my ebullient ‘sky’s the limit!’ self that likes to ignore real-world constraints. The other self is the realist and disciplinarian. Think of Debbie Allen in the intro of the ’80s TV series “Fame.” This is the conversation the two selves have been having for the last week.

Sky’s the Limit Self: I’m going to go, I’m sure I’ll get to meet some great people

Debbie Allen Self: How many DIY wedding templates will it help you sell?

Sky’s the Limit Self: Well, I don’t know how many directly, but you know everything’s related, everything helps.

Debbie Allen Self: Really? Well, how long will it take?

Sky’s the Limit Self: Oh, it’s just a weekend..

Debbie Allen Self: Just a weekend? I know you. You’ll want to prepare. You’ll spend time looking at the blogs of all the attending bloggers, you’ll want to have new business cards printed up, you’ll decide in a mad rush that you need to revamp the entire blog the week before.

Sky’s the Limit Self: (sheepishly) No, I won’t….

Debbie Allen Self: Yes, you will. Let’s face it, you’re looking at about 2-3 days of work and preparation to go, all of which is way beyond the scope of this project, which may I remind you is one blog post a week. Besides, how much is it going to cost?

Sky’s the Limit Self: I dunno, maybe 500 Euros for the weekend

Debbie Allen Self: How many premium listings on European wedding directory blogs would 500 Euros buy? How many new products can you get on the .eu site in 2-3 days? How many keyword-rich blog posts in German can you write in two days?

Sky’s the Limit Self: Alright! Alright! I guess I’m not going…

So a good example of reviewing your goals and scope to stay on track.

I sure wish I could go to Amsterdam though.

15 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Going To Amsterdam

  1. I’m from the UK and am having a very similar debate with myself, too….
    Damn you self control and reason! :(
    although it is oddly reassuring to see you are having the exact same mental debate!

  2. Haha so I’m not the only one who has this internal conversation with myself! I want to go to this so badly too but not sure I can manage it with the current work load and juggling kids etc BUT it looks like it will be a fantastic experience and I hope it will get blogged everywhere so those of us who can’t make it can feel like we were there!

    I’m also speaking at the Hello Etsy conference in September! There really needs to be more conferences of this type in Europe + the UK.

  3. hello from Berlin! I think that the European movement is growing stronger all the time. In some ways, it’s tricky to have the worldwide competition for handmade in Europe, but I think it is also fueling this desire so deep in the hearts of creative people in Europe.

    oh… and I’m sad to say I cannot go either. :(

  4. Hello fellow ‘Euros’, glad to know I’m not the only one wrestling with my inner-meanie!

    @Isa, just replied to your tweet, looking forward to meeting you and attending your talk!

  5. I’m in Italy and always wondering what’s happening in Europe…there’s not a lot happening and I often find out after the fact. Anyone want to build a resource site? 😛

  6. I think it’s beautiful how things in the creative world intersect so delicately. I wrote a piece on something similar last night called “Labor of Love”. There is something fulfilling in reading like-thoughts from others.

    I wish you luck, and that Debbie Allen side finds a smoothly paved path for Sky’s-the-Limit when circumstances are right for it. I often times want to curse this balance within ourselves but I guess we need it. :)

  7. Thanks for the mention. Unfortunately you can’t make it but we will be organizing other events across Europe later this year so I hope we can meet on one of the next events!

  8. oh my, this was great to read! haha, yes those internal meanies can be so tough sometimes squashing all the fun. But what a great reminder to refer back to your goals and make sure what you are putting you energy into is worthwhile for you, right now. Esp love the talk about preparing for 2-3 days 😉

  9. oh we loved Amsterdam! it was one of the stops on our honeymoon! when it does fit in with your goals do it! it’s sort the stop in!! and rent bikes :)

  10. Reading this post made me decide I WOULD go and attend Meet the Blogger!

    It also gave me the idea to prepare (for a change!): not only to make sure to bring my business cards but also a nice goodie to hand out AND checking out the other attendees – something I always forget.

    So big thanks to you, Eleanor, for sharing. Too bad you won’t be there, but I’m impressed by the way you took that decision. Wow, I wish I’d have that clearity of mind sometimes….

  11. Oh this is a shame that you can’t make it. The reason we set up Meet The Blogger is because so many write to me about doing blogging events in Europe because nowadays we just want to MEET each other in person in addition to all of our blogging and such. When I was in London meeting real actual bloggers like Arianna Tripani, Will from Bright Bazaar, Karine Kong from Bodie & Fou, etc. I walked away feeling even more close and endeared to them. I feel like I have this relationship with them now that goes beyond the online and it’s a nice feeling when you can take relationships online, offline, once in awhile. So yes, while you cannot attend this event, there are so many who have requested this event to happen and we couldn’t ignore this anymore. Lise approached me, I’d been wanting to organize something, we got major magazines involved and boom! it’s organized in a matter of 4 months and we don’t have to charge anyone a penny (our goal) and can give everyone free stuff in a goody bag. I think that it’s easy to get caught up in, “What will meeting people do for my business, how much will I sell as a result?”, but honestly it’s all about making connections. When I did the event at Liberty for my book, I spent more money on the trip up there and on the props I bought than I earned on book sales – trust me, I spent WAY more. What I gained emotionally and even from a career perspective, was way more beneficial to my business and creativity which drives my business anyway. Are you following my logic? So I guess on one side I’m glad you made the decision for yourself to do what suits your schedule but I’m also sad that you’re not coming because everything cannot be about earning potential – lots of times that all comes later, it’s about going out there, making connections, building relationships and deepening others. It’s about showing up and sharing.

    Maybe next time then… We’ll be doing Berlin in October. :)


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